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RS Civita Day Packs have exceeded my expectations

I had been eyeing RS’s day packs for a while but didn’t get them as I had no trips planned. However, the Civita day packs were on sale and I couldn’t pass it. I read a lot of reviews about the Classic Civita Day packs and Civita Day Pack. I liked the features on both the bags so I ordered one of each and I received the shipment today. Both versions have features that are exactly the same except for the side pouches. The Classic day pack does hold a tall bottle better than the newer version of the bag. You really don’t need a huge, tall water bottle when you are out and about, sightseeing. If you are traveling domestic, there are water fountains and you can refill at a restaurant or in a coffee shop. I have traveled to Europe and I have refilled my water bottle, so carrying a 8-12 oz water bottle is not a problem for me. You can pack a sweater/rain coat/light weight down/polyester filled short jacket, snacks in the main compartment, travel guides in the medium outside compartment and you still have a 3rd small pouch for other miscellaneous items. There is also a D ring at the bottom of the main compartment that you can hook something to it. I recommend the Civita day packs to anyone looking for a packable day backpack. Now all I need to do is book a tour with RS after I talk my husband into going on one or book a solo tour.

Posted by
1068 posts

I think all of the RS bags offer good value for a reasonable cost. Real world, longer term reviews are available on the web with some patient searching. When I was in Scotland with RS, there were eight to ten folks in the party who had been traveling many years with complete RS luggage ensembles including carry-ons, day packs, and cross-body bags. No one had anything bad to say about any of them.

Posted by
3611 posts

The original Civita Day Pack has exceeded our expectations for years. We’ve had ours for about 15 years. I did purchase another color a few years ago! Well made, durable, affordable, launder on a gentle cycle & hang to dry. I pack some items in a zip lock bag if it rains. I recall a travel class I took at the RS Center years ago. The instructor said you could use the bag stuffed with soft items (jacket, etc) and use as a pillow on the tour bus! It worked well. Now you are set to plan your adventure!

Posted by
15 posts

Yes, Janis, RS said the same in one of his you tube videos about stuffing with a soft sweater and using it as a pillow. I can’t wait to use my day packs on a trip. When I ordered them, i wanted to give one to my daughter as a Christmas gift. Now I am rethinking my decision. LOL!!

Posted by
1047 posts

I can't find the two on the website to compare. What am I doing wrong? I got mine about 5 years ago and once managed to stuff two down coats and other items in when boarding.

Posted by
15 posts

Debbie, I just checked and both the bags are available. Navigate to Shop online at Rick Steve’s.com, search for Civita for the Civita Day pack. Classic Civita day pack is under the Bargain bin.

Posted by
1047 posts

Thanks. That would be a difficult decision. I'm glad I am full-up with bags at the moment. Or do I need an additional color???

Yes, try them out on a tour!

Posted by
274 posts

Watch out for what Civita product you order. The Civita Day Pack is a soft back pack that holds 850 cubic inches of stuff. I have used it happily for almost 20 years. This is the bag RS uses. I mistakenly ordered the Civita Shoulder Bag that is a cross body bag holding only 400 cubic inches. It is way too small if you carry a small rain jacket, travel book, maybe a small sandwich and fruit, sketch book and a few other misc. items eg phone. It was on sale but had to absorb $21 in shipping both ways to get back the sale price on 2 bags. The same Civita name in the name caused my mistake. I wasn’t going to vent on this site, but on this post travelers need to be aware of the big differences in these bags. Neither are on sale right now.

Posted by
8967 posts

My husband has been using his Civita day bag for 15 years, not just for travel. He used it daily for work until he retired two years ago. It’s still like new. I bought one for myself five years or so ago. One of the toggles that tightens the water bottle holder broke so I contacted Rick Steves Europe and they sent me a new toggle. While I don’t use mine regularly it has come in very handy when I do.

Posted by
15 posts

Andrea, it’s good to know. I travel for work so planning to pack the day pack in my suitcase just in case I go shopping.

Civita backpacks fill a niche. I have one. My daughter and husband use it. But, if you are carrying an iPad or tablet or computer - this bag won’t work. It has a soft, collapsible bottom. I prefer a bag that has a more “rigid” fabric bottom and some back padding. I also like organizer panels. I also like packs that are 16” - 17” long due to my torso length.

For a collapsible bag - check out osprey daylite tote pack.

The civita is good for a windbreaker, bag lunch, tissues, and a book. It gets the job done.

Posted by
15 posts

It’s a daypack and not a regular back pack. I keep all my devices at the hotel except the phone. I really don’t need to carry all your devices when I go sightseeing. If I am concerned with theft=t, I lock them in my suitcase.
Also, I have turned on Find my device on my Apple devices so even if gets taken either by accident or on purpose, it can be tracked. You could probably carry a light weight reader.
We need to use the bag for its intended uses and not pack with heavy stuff and then give a bad feedback about the products.

Hi There Ava-rnathan,
I agree with what you said about right bag for the right job. My comments were to just point out a few things for information. Backpacks, in some ways, are personal like shoes. Each person has his or her own needs. It’s good to get the bag that works for you!

Posted by
2007 posts

The Civita shoulder bag is just right for me as a day bag on travel, especially urban. Out on the trails I would agree it's not quite suited - too small and the soft fabric easily snags on vegetation, but in town I find it fits just right -- can get into museums without checking it at the coatcheck/lockers, yet it holds what I need. When I use the RS convertible carry-on I keep it inside as though it was a rectangular stacking cube; now that I'm switching to the eBags junior as my carry-on I put the RS civita inside on the way out and use it as my personal item on the way back. If you carry a magazine or book that stiffens it up enough to hold your tablet or whatever. One feature to me that's a bug to others is that the zippers don't extend all the way down the sides, so if you want to keep it open and use it as a tote with your baguette or poster tube sticking out the top, that works, too.